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Mice/Post operative protection of lab rats and wound


Hi Natasha

I am currently doing research in rats related to some sweat glands. The rats only have the sweat glands on their plantar region, so last month I did some surgical procedures on the hind paws of rats and bandaged it firmly. I used no any other containments and the rats were left in their cages. But the very next day, the rats chewed up or by some means tore out all the bandages including the sutures. So the surgery and everything went in vain.

I am looking forward to repeating the experiment, but I couldnot find any suitable technique for post operative protection of the wound and bandages on the paws of the rats. I am thinking of using Elizabethan collar this time. Could you please suggest me any other methods or techniques that I could apply?

Thanks a lot

Hi Pranish,

The Elizabethan collar will work well if you make sure they can still eat. Remember they have to get their front paws to their mouths. The other option is to use co flex to make a mid body wrap so the rats cannot bend enough to get their hind feet to their mouths.

In both and all cases of injury such as this, you will need to administer pain meds to keep their attention from being so focused on the wounds. Rats do not act like they are in pain because they are prey animals; they experience severe pain with no sound and no apparent change of behavior. But if they know where the pain is they will do everything possible to get to the wound and lick it.

Please be as kind as possible and use as few rats as possible. Rats are as smart and loving and playful and as precious to those of us who know them well, as any dog or cat or other larger pet.

Any other time I can help a rat or mouse please let me know.



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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

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B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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